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When I first setup my blog on WordPress, I added some new posts and followed all the rules and regulations suggested by blogging experts.
I became member of some affiliate networks, generated the encrypted code and put nice looking beautiful banners in the sidebar of my blog.
I waited and waited for the money to start rolling in. But boy oh boy, was I in for a surprise!
Simply adding a few banners to the sidebar was not the magic wand to start making money.
I learned the hard way, but I did. I now earn somewhere close to $50 – $100 per month from different affiliate network programs.
What is Affiliate Marketing? You Ask ……
If you are new to the world of blogging and affiliate networking, you need to know a few things.
In simple terms, promoting a company’s products or services on your website. When they make a purchase, you get a commission from that sale! You need a domain name, hosting service, theme and a few plugins to get started. Read my post on How to Start a Blog in Three Easy Steps.
Here are 7 powerful ways to make money from Affiliate Marketing.
1. Become a Member of Affiliate Networks
Once you start and set up a new WordPress blog, register with different affiliate networks.
Note that becoming a member of each and every network you come across is a sure shot way to failure.
It does not matter how many networks you are member of, what matters is if the network has the relevant, high quality products required for your niche.
As of now, I am member of only a handful of affiliate networks.
My top earners are – Shareasale, Amazon and Linkshare. I also display Adsense Ads on my blog that earn me significant amount of money every month.
I get invitations from many different networks to become part of their system, but I am limiting myself to only a few.
2. Identify Your Website Niche
What is your blog about? Do you blog about food, DIY and crafts,travel or are a mommy blogger?
It should be clear from the contents of your blog what kind of audience you attract.
When I started my first blog, I had no particular niche in my mind. I wanted to write about anything and everything.
I had no idea what a niche was!
As my blog grew, brands and companies started approaching me for advertisement and sponsored posts.
When asked, I couldn’t pin point one particular area I specialized in.
Basically I had no idea what my niche was!
That is when I figured that I need to identify the niche of my blog. It should be something I enjoy doing and sharing with my audience.
So, take some time to identify the niche of your blog. Find out more about your audience, your readers.
What percentage of men or women visit your blog. Their age group, geographic location and their interests.
If you have all this information handy, you will be able to promote products or services with the clarity of what your readers want.
You will be able to recommend products and services with much more convenience.
Most of this information is available in Google Analytics.
Identifying your target audience is very important to finding success with affiliate marketing!
3. Sidebar vs Content
Once you figure out the niche, set up the blog and approved for certain programs in your network, it’s time to place the banner ads or text links on your blog.
But where to place those banners and text links so that most of your visitors are able to click through them?
When I first started with affiliate marketing, I took the easy way out.
You guessed it … I placed the banner ads on the sidebar, thinking those were the best spots. But nothing happened. No clicks, not many impressions.
Not much though! I was making a few bucks here and there, but nothing significant.
You know what worked?
Placing the text link in my content as part of my contents as recommendations.
Yup ,that worked best for me.
When you have loyal followers, they will notice your recommendations and purchase the tools and resources you refer to.
Make sure though that the links you plugin into your blog posts flow naturally with the rest of the contents.
For me, Tools and Resources for Bloggers is my top most page that I earn most commission from.
4. Be Honest When Reviewing a Product
Offer quality not quantity!
When you review and recommend products that you have used yourself and comfortable using again, you win confidence from your blog visitors.
Add personal touch to your product reviews. Tell them pros and cons if you found any. Offer your unbiased recommendations on those products you have reviewed.
Understand that it is easy to tell genuine from fake review. People can actually sense if you are offering honest opinion about the product or not.
When you offer a solution to your readers problems, they are going to come back for more.
So make sure that even if you are not getting paid enough, you are often helping someone.
Finding products to review is pretty straightforward. If you have a blog about babies, look for baby related products like best strollers or car seats.
If your blog is an established one with loyal followers base, brands and companies can even send their products to you and ask you to review on your blog.
I had a great time reviewing this Levana Keera 2 Camera Video Monitor. I used it with my toddler and still use it. My honest review on this video monitor had many of my readers buy it from my affiliate link.
5. Seasonal Promotions
People are always looking to buy on special occasions or holidays.
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, New Years, Valentine’s Day and Christmas are some of the most popular holidays when people make most of the purchases.
You can list gift ideas for these special occasions on your blog.
I was able to earn commission on number of sales around the time.
On the same lines, if you have a website with gift ideas niche, chances are people are going to search for gifts and gift ideas for their loved ones.
Since they are in the shopping mode, they are ready to make a purchase.
Be ready to make money with affiliate marketing at such times!
6. Social Media Presence
Social Media has become an integral part of marketing nowadays. It is very important that once you create a new blog post about a certain topic, you post an update on all your social channels.
I sometimes share a post on Tumblr and Stumbleupon as well. Stumbleupon surprises me sometimes when I get lot of stumbles on some days.
Pinterest generates constant traffic for me on regular days.
Social Networks are an excellent way to get the word out. Most of your potential customers hang out at some of these social channels.
7. Constant Experimenting
Just like many other bloggers, I started my first blog as hobby. I had no idea there could be monetization involved. There are so many resources now that you can use to make money online, affiliate networks being one of them.
But if one thing works on one blog, that doesn’t mean it will also work for other blog as well.
So if your blogger friend tells you that they make ton of money from Affiliate Marketing by promoting cameras and lenses on their photography site, you can’t take their word for it and implement it on your food blog.
Every blog and website is different. So find out what works for you, what doesn’t. Keep testing, change your approach, ask your audience, get feedback. You will eventually get it!
As you learn the bits and pieces you will be able to figure out things on your own. Soon you will become an authority in your niche.
You will be able to recommend products and services to your readers with much more confidence. You can achieve this with only experimenting as well as lot of analysis of your blog.
Always remember, Affiliate Marketing is just like any other business marketing. It takes time, planning, patience and lot of effort to find success!